AUSTRALIA has no shortage of weird, wacky or just plain crazy festivals and celebrations.
From boat races on waterless rivers to car rallies in vehicles that are definitely dodgy, Skyscanner Australia takes you ringside for weirdly fun festivals in our country.
Parkes Elvis Festival, Parkes NSW
Unleash your inner Elvis Presley (we’ve all got one I’m sure!) at a five day celebration of everything Elvis.
Celebrating 25 years in 2017, there’s competitions for Elvis tribute artists, rock’n’roll dancing, hot cars, even a Miss Priscilla for the ladies to get in on the impersonator act.
Board the famous NSW Trainlink Elvis Express from Sydney for a train journey like no other with dancing and singing in the aisles all the way to the town of Parkes.
Hot tip: Brush up on the jive and jitterbug before you go and don’t forget your dancing shoes!
More info:Parkes Elvis FestivalHenley on Todd regatta in Alice Springs.
Henley on Todd Regatta, Alice Springs NT
Billed as the world’s first waterless boat regatta it’s hard to deny their claim.
The regatta takes place on the dusty sandpit otherwise known as the perennially dry riverbed of the Todd River.
Running for 55 years, the regatta is a major highlight on the Alice Springs social calendar.
Crews race each other in handmade kayaks, sailboats, even ‘maxi yachts’, all powered by foot while well-lubricated spectators cheer them on from the riverbank.
The Battle of the Boats grand finale sees three crews on-board decked out navy, pirate and viking ships pelting each other with water cannons and flour bombs.
The aim is to scuttle enemy ships (and, one suspects, to get as filthy as possible), all in the name of charity.
Hot tip: Grab three friends, build a boat and enter the Bring Your Own Boat race
More info:Henley on Todd
Tunarama Festival, Port Lincoln SA
Held at the South Australian coastal town of Port Lincoln, otherwise known as the tuna capital of the world, Tunarama blends food (lots of seafood naturally) with play.
Over five days of feasting and partying, there’s competitions for prawn peeling, prawn tossing — even, keg rolling and boat building.
But the most highly anticipated event is the famous tuna tossing competition.
Festival organisers tapped into a fishing industry tradition that required fishermen to toss the days catch from a docked boat onto a waiting truck.
It has since evolved into a hotly contested competition for women and men.
For the record, the biggest toss for males stands at 37.2m and for females 21.2m.
Hot tip: Practice your hammer-throw technique if you hope to challenge the tuna tossing record!
Shitbox Rally, Outback
Is this the ultimate Australian road-trip? Quite possibly!
A fundraiser for the Cancer Council, teams of two are limited to driving a vehicle that costs less than $1000 over some of Australia’s most desolate roads.
The only other restriction is that the vehicle must have a current registration (4WDs are not welcome). The more beaten up, weird and memorable the car, the better.
In 2017, the 3800km route takes teams north from Adelaide via the Oodnadatta track, Alice Springs and the Plenty Highway to Cairns over one week.
It’s all for a good cause with almost $8 million raised in the seven years it’s been running.
Hot tip: Don’t even think about signing up unless you have a crazy friend/brother/sister with an equally outrageous sense of adventure. Mechanical skills would be useful.
More info:Shitbox Rally
Birdsville Races, Birdsville QLD
Undoubtedly the biggest event on Birdsville’s calendar since the first race in the 1880s, the Birdsville Races attract travellers from across the globe.
The tiny town of Birdsville, whose population once peaked at 300 but has dwindled to 120 hardy souls, swells to almost 10,000 during race week.
The Birdsville Hotel is the outback town’s party hub as revellers warm up their drinking arms for the main event — The Birdsville Cup.
Cowboys, clowns and claypans vie for attention among the dirt and dust of the Simpson Desert, 1600km west of Brisbane.
Hot tip: Polish your beer goggles — there’s much drinking involved!
More info:Birdsville Races
This article originally appeared on Skyscanner Australia and was reproduced with permission.